Plogging in the Yorkshire Dales
Plogging in the Yorkshire Dales, could it a thing that takes off?
What is plogging?
In Sweden, environmentally conscious runners have taken to collecting plastic litter during their runs. The aerobically taxing and rubbish-collecting activity has been named “plogging” – a portmanteau of “jogging” and “plucking”.
Founded by Erik Ahlström, Stockholm-based group Plogga aims to use the city’s runners as a force for good. His team of ploggers pull on their disposable gloves, grab a bin bag, and scan the streets for litter along their route. Once the bag is full, it’s deposited in an appropriate recycle bin, cutting down on the amount of plastic making its way to the ocean.
Well as we’d never heard of it, our director Sam decided to get out and go plogging in Reeth, a small village in the Yorkshire Dales. Running gear on, gloves on and picker in hand. He set off round the village 3km and 30 minutes later here is what he gather whilst plogging.
Going to take up plogging in your village, town or city? We’d love to see a photo of you in action and your plogging adventure!
Baking Scottish Baps
As a nation everything is slowing down and everyone is asked to social-isolate or self-isolate due to covid-19. It’s a great time to learn some new skills or start making fine food in your own home for very little money.
Here is a simple recipe for making Scottish Baps or Breakfast Baps.
Preparation time: 35 minutes + 1-hour proofing / rising time
Cook time: 20 to 30 minutes
Makes 6 rolls
• 3g dried yeast • ½ teaspoon of caster sugar • 216g white bread flour • 125ml lukewarm milk • ½ teaspoon of salt • 22g butter
1) Place the yeast, sugar and flour and add the lukewarm milk into a bowl and give the mix a little stir; leave for 10 minutes. Hopefully you will start to see some bubbles appear on the surface.
2) Add the butter and mix until it forms a dough.
3) Knead the dough for three minutes either in a mixer or by hand. Then shape the dough into a ball back in the mixing bowl. Place a damp cloth over the top and leave in a warm place for one hour to rise.
4) Preheat your oven to 210°c. Knead the dough again for two minutes and then divide it into six pieces. Roll a piece into a ball and then flatten into an oval shape. Repeat with the remaining dough.
5) Place the ovals on to a floured tray and dust with flour. Leave for 15 minutes so then can rise again. Make an indent in the centre with your finger and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until browned and cooked through.
The breakfast baps should have a soft crust which is ideal for little ones. This can be a great activity to do with your children whilst schools are closed due to the coronavirus.
We would love to see your scottish baps, visit our Facebook Page and share your photos.
With the current situation regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus) we feel it is important to be honest and transparent about what we are doing to help you and keep our head above water!
There is a lot of uncertainty out there as to what is going to happen in the coming months. We are currently closed for activities until July 2020, but our office is still open. We are both able to work from home.
We have made some amendments though to our standard terms and conditions. We feel this is the best solution we can do to help you, our staff and us in this challenging and uncertain times.
T&C’s Temporary Amendments for date changes.
If you are a school and have a booking with us before the 01/05/2020, we will allow you to reschedule your booking with us within 12 months of your original booking. After the 01/07/2020 our standard terms and conditions will apply.
All other bookings
We are closed for activities, but are still taking bookings for the summer 2020 and our standard terms and conditions still apply. Where we will make changes are for bookings up to the 1st of July 2020. We will give you the option to reschedule your booking, within 24 months of your original booking!
If your booking falls within the dates 16/03/2020 till 01/07/2020 and you do not want to reschedule your booking with us, we will refund 50% of your booking, the other 50% will go towards the general running costs of our business.
All other terms and conditions still apply!
We hope you feel our temporary amendments are fair and we hope to see you on the alfresco adventures you have planned with us. Stay safe and we hope that it has a minor disruption on all aspects of your life.
Here is a link to our standard terms and conditions.
Litter Picking the Yorkshire Three Peaks Route
Every year we take 100’s of walkers around the Yorkshire Three Peaks and there always seems to be a large volume of litter and poo bags on the route. Not a sight you want to see anywhere really and especially not in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales! It doesn’t help the situation too that every year the Y3P seems to be getting some negative press coverage. I have wanted to do a clean up of the Yorkshire Three Peaks route for numerous years now and to work alongside the Yorkshire Dales National Park, but I was rejected for a number of years. It made me quite angry they didn’t seem to want to work with a local business, offering volunteer pickers and to clean up the mess that the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk brings, to me it seemed so logical. It was our way of giving back!
This year though the BMC launched the ‘Hills 2 Ocean‘ campaign to pick up litter from upland environments. They recon that 80% of the litter dropped in the hills ends up in the ocean.
THIS WAS COLLECTED FROM RIBBLESDALE HEAD VIADUCT TO WHERNSIDE, A EIGHT MILE CIRCULAR WALK.
THIS WAS COLLECTED FROM HORTON IN RIBBLESDALE TO PEN-Y-GHENT, A SIX MILE CIRCULAR WALK.
THIS WAS OUR WAY IN! I got in touch with the BMC as soon as I saw the campaign and we they were delighted we wanted to be part of it. They gave us re-useable bags and litter picks, we were then all set to PICK, PICK, PICK. We advertised two short 6/8 mile walks on our Facebook Page and through the BMC website asking for volunteers but, sadly it was always just me and one other, which as we gather so much of Whernside it was quite a challenge! We had filled one sac within ONE mile of leaving the car and it was heavy. Just to make it a little more challenging it was raining, bitterly cold and very windy. Just what you want!
We were shocked what we found, it was truly disgusting! We are intending to do two more litter picks in 2020:
- 14th June Pen-y-Ghent 6 miles 1030 meeting in the main carpark
- 22nd September Whernside 8 miles 1030 meeting at Ribblehead Viaduct.
If you would like to be involved please phone or email us to express your interest
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Recommended Expedition Kit List
A question asked by so many people doing thier Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. What kit do i need to carry?
Here is our recommended kit list for DofE.
We have stripped it down to help you pack lighter and smarter.
- Adequate footwear – Boots either leather or Gore-Tex/ Synthetic. Make sure it has a good sole- Vibram and provides ankle support and are broken in.
- Waterproof jacket with a hood – This needs to be windproof and waterproof. Not showerproof- look for taped seams.
- Waterproof Trousers with taped seams.
- T-shirts – This must NOT be cotton. Acceptable examples include ski tops, thin fleece, Helly Hanson or other specialist makes. These are also lightweight.
- Fleece or soft-shell – Not cotton. Primark and Mountain Warehouse sell them. Soft-shell are more expensive but great pieces of kit.
- Trousers – They must be quick drying. NOT jeans! Zip off trousers are worth considering as they can be used as shorts in the right weather.
- Hat and Gloves – (inc sun hats) Ideally fleece or windstopper for a hat. Waterproof gloves make a huge difference if its wind at wet. If its forecast to sunny, we highly recommend a sun hat; you will have long days exposed to the sun.
- Socks and underwear – We recommend you buy walking socks that are NOT cotton. TOP TIP- Waterproof socks are also extremely good but are quite expensive. Make sure you carry at least one spare pair of socks
- Rucksack and liner – 65 Litres is a good size for a rucksack. Make sure it is fitted to your back (or can be adjusted) as they come in different lengths. Liner should be a thick plastic (NOT a bin liner), rubble bags are ideal. Rucksack covers are not waterproof.
- Sleeping bag and mat – A 3 season sleeping bag should be fine. These should be in either a dry bag or a sealed plastic bag (not a bin liner. If your bag gets wet you need to keep your sleeping bag DRY! Sleeping mats can be either foam or inflatable.
- Water bottle – At least 1 litre.
- Watch – A cheap digital one is best, especially if the face lights up. It is very hard to navigate using a watch that has hands.
- Wash kit – Soap (or dry soap), toothbrush, toothpaste, loo roll in a plastic bag. NOTHING ELSE. No makeup or deodorant- its added weight you just don’t need!!!
- Torch and whistle – Head torches are best don’t forget spare batteries.
- Mug and spoon – Plastic is best, you can buy combined forks and spoons- Spork
- Plastic Bags – Big freezer bags! Dry socks- wet boots solution for camp only!
Optional Extras – think about weight and space. Do you REALLY NEED it?
- Nightwear – Pyjamas or cotton top and bottoms, preferably NOT a onesie as they are bulky and once wet are hard to dry.
- Trainers or Sandals – Optional for use at campsite. We like Crocs as they are lightweight and easy to slip on and off.
- Gaiters – Waterproof and can be either ankle length or mid-calf.
- Leggings – Thermal leggings are worth considering as additions to normal trousers rather than as an alternative
- Bowl/plate – If your mug is big enough use that, but think about what you are going to eat and then decide if you need a bowl or plate. You can use the pans in Trangias and boil in the bag foods can be eaten out of the bag.
- Towel – You can buy trek towels, or alternatively bring a normal towel or bring a small flannel or tea towel.
- One COMPLETE change of clothing – This only to be worn in the tent or in a real emergency. It must be ruthlessly packed to ensure it remains bone DRY!!!!
- Survival bag and Emergency rations – Big orange plastic bag £3, some spare food and drink sachet- hot chocolate is good!
- Pen and Paper – For message writing and making notes about your journey. TOP TIP- waterproof paper notebook £2.50/£3
- Personal First Aid Kit – Personal medication (ibuprofen, inhaler etc.) and blister plasters. Alfresco Adventures provide a group first aid kit.
- Money – For emergency use or if need to use a phone.
This equipment should be shared amongst the team. As an approved activity provider of the DofE Expedition section, we provide free use of our tents, stove (inc gas), compasses, maps and bag covers.
- Stove and Fuel – Can be liquid or gas. Trangia stoves are popular as they come with pots as part of them. They need to be big enough for the group and the fuel needs to be stored in a safe container.
- Tent – Can be 1, 2 or 3 person tents. Depending on the make and model of the tent some pitch inner first some pitch outer first and some are integrated. In all cases you need to know how to put them up before you go on expedition and that they have a good ground sheet to keep moisture out/ to a minimum.
- Food – This should be organised as a team. Eat lots! Please see our DofE meal suggestions page.
- Matches and washing up kit – Small bottle of washing up liquid, a green scrubber thing and some plastics bags for rubbish. Matches need to stay DRY!
- Maps – Usually 1:25,000 or 1:50,000. Laminated maps are good otherwise bring a map case as well.
- Compass – Silva compasses are the best on the market.
- Toilet paper – For when there is no toilet and you need a wild wee or poo!!!
- Mobile phone – For emergencies only!! NOT for texting your mates!
Extras to consider subject to weather
- Sun cream and aftersun – For the lovely British summer days!!!
- Sunglasses – Make sure they have UV protection and bring a hard case.
- Insect repellent – Spray on is good, avoid anything stronger than 40% DEET. Smidge is good but expensive.
The plane that crashed in Apedale
After watching the news on the 22nd of February of the ten planes that flew over Sheffield to mark the 75th anniversary of the US bomber plane that came down in Endcliffe Park in 1944, killing everyone on board. I thought I should get the kids out to for an adventure to find a local plane crash site, the kids were really excited! For years I’ve know about the crash site which is near Slipstones Crag, Masham, but after a little bit of googling I found a crash site that was really close to home. This I was excited about, I had no idea where exactly it was other than it was in Apedale. We asked our neighbour who is a retired farmer that farmed just over the moor on Whitaside, he remembers the plane crashing and it catching fire and that fire burned till Christmas. He gave us rough idea of where the plane crashed, so we made lunch, packed our bags and headed to Apedale in search of the crash site! The adventure begins…..
Apledale is the smallest dale in the Yorkshire Dales and is nestled in-between Wensleydale and Swaledale. It was an area that was mined for lead back early 1800’s and now its a managed grouse moor with a bridleway that has a brilliant descent coming over from Whitaside in Swaledale.
The kids are leaping with excitement skipping along the bridleway, collecting stone or in Arlo’s case the bigger the rock the better! Gem and I trying to get them to put them down to help us remember the way back. 🙂 After walking for twenty minutes we find the perfect spot for lunch, Dent’s Houses. Within minutes Millie wants to move in, asking can we live here id be outside all the time playing in the stream and I knew what was coming next. Dad we could get a dog too. My answer ‘NO, NO, NO’! Taking shelter inside Dent’s Houses eating our lunch, on what was a beautiful day outside. We couldn’t sit still for long though the kids (me included) wanted to go and play in the steam. There is something very satisfying about playing in a stream!
Being parents we were constantly telling the kids don’t get your feet wet, we’ve got a way to go yet. The only person to get wet feet was ME! DOH
After dragging them away with the bribe of Haribo we set back off in search for the crashed plane.
The plane that crashed on the 29th September 1959 was the Gloster Javelin F.A.W Mk.5 XA662 of No.288 Operational Conversion Unit based at RAF Leeming. The crew were on a training flight when the accident happened. We are also led to believe it crashed due to a fuel leak which resulted in engine failure. Both pilots also survived as the ejected out of the plane before it crashed.
We’d walked quite a few kilometres by this point the kids were getting a little grumpy we hadn’t found the plane, lucky just round the next corner there was a gamekeeper hard at work on the moor. The kids were very happy he’d pointed us in the right direction as we’d walked a little further than we needed.
After a little bit of up and a little bit of bog hopping we found the Gloster Javelin. The children at this point were like children in a sweet shop, absolutely buzzing. Mum, mum, mum come and look at this! Dad, dad, dad what do you think this could’ve been?
It was amazing that so such of the plane is still there, wires and pipes everywhere. The fuel pipe a little squashed but still in one piece, it is roughly 10ft long. There was a tyre and loads of other bits of metal scattered over an area of about the size of a football field.
With a big fat tick – THE APEDALE PLANE CRASH SITE WAS FOUND! The grid reference for the site is SE015 942, it’s like finding a massive geocache. We then he headed back to the car to go for a well earned ice cream in Reeth. We recommend it for a walk out, we all had a great time and a lot fun! Another great alfresco adventure!
Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our most FAQ’s about our guided Yorkshire Three Events. We hope you find the answer you are looking for!
Q: What kit do I need to bring?
A: We send out a recommended kit list as soon as you book and resend it two weeks prior to your event taking place.
Q: Are there any toilets on the route?
A: Yes and No. There are toilets on arrival to the main carpark. Out on the walk there aren’t any toilets. People tend to go behind a wall. There are roughly 250,000 people that do the Yorkshire Three Peaks each year as you can imagine the two pubs that are on route are not that happy with people using their loos. If you desperately need to, we strongly advise you to ask before you use them and perhaps make a donation or buy a small drink or chocolate bar.
Q: The forecast is to be sunny, do I need to take my waterproof jacket and trousers?
A: Yes, although it isn’t forecast to rain the Yorkshire Three Peaks has some unpredictable weather at times and they are also good for keeping the wind off you as well as keeping you dry.
Q: What time do we start?
A: We aim to meet at 0630 to 0645 on all of our Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge Events with the intention of setting off at 0700 at the latest.
Q: How long does it take?
A: The aim is to complete the challenge in under 12 hours. We do have it occasionally where people take longer than 12 hours that is not a problem.
Q: Can I take my dog?
A: No. We don’t allow any dogs on our guided Yorkshire Three Peaks events.
Q: What food should I bring?
A: We recommend eating like you would on any normal day just bring more of it. Flapjack and salted crisps are good too. You will burn roughly 5000 calories and loose about 5 litres of water in sweat.
Q: How much water should I bring?
A: We recommend everybody carries atleast two litres. We do carry extra water in our support vehicle.
Q: Can I do the walk it in trainers?
A: Yes, but we recommend walking boots. Paths are rocky at times and there can be areas of boggy ground.
Q: Should I bring spare socks?
A: Yes, spare socks can help prevent blisters on sweaty feet. There is also something quite nice about putting fresh socks on tired feet.
Q: What happens if I can’t complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks or want to drop out at a certain point?
A: We have a support vehicle on all open events which if for any reason you feel like you want to stop at the 2 check points on route 10 miles in and 18 miles in, we will transport you back to the start. If you have a private booking and haven’t requested a support vehicle you can get the train from Ribblehead Viaduct or if you are at the pub after Whernside you can get a taxi back to the start. A taxi is around £25.
Q: Where do we start the walk from?
A: All our guided Yorkshire Three Peaks events start in Horton-in-Ribblesdale. We park in the national parks carpark which costs £4.50 for the day. There are other carparks which are cheaper but by paying in the national parks carpark the money generated goes back into looking after the paths etc on the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
Q: Which way do the Yorkshire Three Peaks?
A: We walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks anti-clockwise. Doing Pen-y-Ghent, then Whernside and then finish with Ingleborough.
Q: Do walking poles help?
A: Yes and no. If you haven’t used them before you can often find they can get in the way, but they are also very good for taking some of the weight off your knees on the descents. We do carry some spares in our support vehicle.
Q: Will we be walking in a large group or small group?
A: We have one guide for every 10 clients so we will aim to split people into small groups.
Q: If my group are walking slower than I want to, can I leave the group?
A: Although we don’t recommend you leaving your guide as they are responsible for your safety. We can’t stop you from walking off. If you do want to leave the group you must inform your guide and we are then no longer responsible for you.
Q: Do I get a certificate on completion?
A: Yes, we offer all our clients a certificate on completion.
Q: Can and how do I sign out at the café?
A: Yes, you can write your name, email address and the time you are starting the walk, post it through the letter box. Don’t forget to sign back in though with your name, email address and time.
We hope these questions have helped. If you do think of any questions that we haven’t answered please do get in touch with us.
Struggling to think of a DofE Aim for your expedition?
Here are a few ideas for what you could do for your expedition aim for your Duke of Edinburgh Award. We offer three modes of transport on foot, by bicycle, by canoe. We hope you find theses useful!
• Explore and document cairns.
• Investigate the changes in local agriculture over the last 100 years.
• Explore an historic place made famous in a film or television programme and document the scenery.
• Investigate Roman sites around Hadrian’s Wall.
• Photograph and describe interesting old buildings along your route.
• Decorate a white t-shirt, using inspiration from the scenery that you see along your route.
• Search for forms of fungi, photograph or sketch them and record them.
• Paint different types of trees and correctly identify them.
• List and film the different kinds of birds that you see.
• As second mini aim, draw all the different star constellations that you see.
• Create a series of communication signals to use within your team.
• Do a fun team game or challenge each day to promote team building.
• Make a video diary of your team’s experiences, from camping and cooking to reaching your destination.
• Design a team motif and make a badge or accessory for each team member to wear that reflects your journey.
• As a team, identify different team roles and rotate each day.
• Monitor the levels of litter on your route and plan how you could campaign to reduce this.
• Consider the impact of vehicles on the environment along your route.
• Record evidence of wildlife breeding programmes and how you would start your own.
• Investigate the maintenance of footpaths and hedgerows.
• Study local efforts to stop the erosion of coastlines.
• Record your different emotions over the expedition and relate it to the physical challenge.
• Set a group challenge to speed walk every day for a certain period of time and keep each other going.
• Monitor what time of day people have the most energy to push themselves harder and improve your journey times.
• Film warm up and warm down sessions before and after your day’s walk.
• Monitor changing heart rates and body temperature on the expedition route.
• Write a series of poems of your experiences and critique them.
• Visit areas which inspired poetry, such as the Lake District and Wordsworth.
• Explore sites made famous in folklore, such as Robin Hood’s legendary home of Sherwood Forest.
• Use your funniest expedition moments to create a play and perform it as your presentation.
• Write a short ghost story or mystery tale based loosely on your expedition.
• Keep a log of the weather throughout your expedition and how you adapted to it as a team.
• Create a team song or chant to motivate each other and use it in your
• Monitor how well the group stay together using distance between lead and rear cyclist as a guide, and improve this over your expedition.
• Create a video diary of your team’s expedition, concentrating on positives about each other.
• Investigate difficulties in communication when cycling and find methods to overcome them.
• Make a documentary about the most common wildlife in the area.
• Investigate the features of a river using an adjacent cycle path.
• Sketch some of the insects you spot and find out what they are.
• Photograph different types of flora and fauna on your route and compare them with each other.
• Create a nature guide of your route for future visitors.
• Consider the impact of tourism on your surroundings.
• Examine the conservation efforts for wildlife in ponds and lakes on your route.
• Monitor the management of paths on your route, such as fallen trees and overgrowth.
• Investigate the erosion caused by bikes compared to foot travel.
• Study the state of repair of bike-friendly styles and gates.
• Find clues to local industry or crafts that historically took place where you visit.
• Plan a route near a castle and explore how old it is and who occupied it in the past.
• Cycle along parts of a disused railway to explore its history and use of any surviving buildings.
• Note the period and style of architecture of interesting buildings you pass.
• Plan a tour of famous battlefields, learning about their history.
• Create a training film for other groups about navigation and expedition skills.
• Make a diary of the group’s experiences and how you supported each other.
• Create a mood board showing the team’s changes in mood throughout the expedition and how you have helped each other through hard times.
• As a team, identify skills you would like to improve and create a team diary showing how you are improving.
• As a team, create an expedition music playlist that represents your experiences.
• Draw tree silhouettes to create a piece of artwork for your presentation.
• Prepare a route along a towpath and note the wildlife you see.
• Sketch wildlife you see and do an exhibition at the end of your expedition.
• Report on the accessibility of open spaces to wheelchair users and others with restricted mobility.
• Photograph and identify different types of stones and rocks.
• Discover sites tied to local myths and legends.
• Produce an illustrated guide to a stretch of canal, focusing on its history.
• Follow a disused railway track and investigate ruins and new uses of old buildings.
• Take photographs of historic sites on your route and create a calendar.
• Draw buildings of different periods along your route.
• Investigate Second World War defenses.
• Note the age and history of buildings and areas that you pass.
• Plot the course of a canal and explore the history of why it was built in that location.
• Use authentic old canoes or kayaks and compare how they are made and used compared to modern techniques.
• Sea kayak alongside the D-Day Normandy beaches.
• List different flora and fauna that you see by the side of the canal.
• Sketch all the colours you see in nature and create a colour wheel.
• Make a recording of the sounds of nature you hear on your expedition.
• Investigate samples of the river bed on your route and compare them with each other.
• Investigate the use of towpaths, type and frequency of use.
• Help make a canal navigable by keeping a log of parts that need clearing and send it to the owners of the waterway.
• Monitor the human contamination of the waterway and its immediate surroundings.
• Consider the impact of boat traffic on local wildlife.
• Photograph weirs and other water features and investigate their use.
• Study the effect of human erosion on towpaths.
• After keeping a daily log, each evening, reflect on what challenged and tested your team, suggesting ways of dealing with possible future problems.
• Analyse the team’s need to have a leader and what skills and qualities they should have.
• As a team, investigate problems in communication when canoeing and find methods to make it easier.
• Produce a promotional film about how much fun a canoe expedition can be.
• As a team, record your expedition experiences and create a scrap book.
These suggested aims have been taken from the official DofE website.
Easter Bike Packing Micro Adventure
We hope you all had a great Easter weekend. We certainly did, we had a family trip out to Monk Park Farm near Thirsk. Arlo has a love for tractors and farm animals. He was in his element!
We have spent a lot of time talking over the last few months about where we should go for a family holiday this summer. We decided on a 4 day bike packing trip, where we haven’t decided yet though.
Friday afternoon Gem said “Sam why don’t we cycle to Muker and camp the night” Me: “Aye go on then” so we did we loaded the trailer and our bags for a night of adventure. Inspired by the ‘Micro Adventures’ book written by Alastair Humphreys. We set off on our one night of adventure!
We had packed boil in bag meals but two minutes down the road the smell of fish and chips was too good to pass. It was Good Friday after all, so we picked up fish and chips from the fish van in Reeth and cycled to Healaugh to eat them on the green. Great cycling fuel!
We then got back on the bikes and headed another five and half miles down Swaledale to Muker. Where we camped at Usha Gap Campsite- the campsite is great, the facilities are amazingly good and it’s a stones throw away from a great pub.
9.5 miles up and down dale we arrived in Muker. The kids still had the energy to run wild, off they went exploring the campsite whilst Gem and I pitched the tents.
ZZZzzz a good nights sleep had by all.
Packed up for our return journey back to Reeth. This morning we had one thing on our minds ‘back to Reeth for the breakfast club’. We had 9.5 miles up and down dale with the wind on our backs thinking about that Full English Breakfast we would have when we arrived home.
The breakfast was great, we haven’t seen Millie eat that much that quick for breakfast for a long time. Massive smiles all round, Gem and I are so proud she cycled all that way with no moaning aged 7. Arlo just wanted to go faster all the time on the back Gems bike. “Mum faster” every five minutes.
Our little Easter micro adventure complete! Next time we aim to have three days away bike packing before the summer where we would like to do a four day trip!
Things to know when Navigating in the hills
Always check the weather as late as possible ( Changes- these are key to weather watching. Note the direction of the wind when you start and the type and height of the clouds. Do the same with the temperature and barometric pressure if you have a device for doing this. Note pressure also reduces with altitude so if climbing you need to take this into account. It gets 1 degree colder per 100m of ascent. If there is a change then something is happening, generally a cold or warm front is approaching or passing or has passed.
Where is the Low Pressure area? In the northern hemisphere if you stand with your back to the wind the low pressure is on your left.
A low (anticyclone or depression) rotates anticlockwise and high vice versa. The weather ‘flows’ from high to low. Hence the term filling. Imagine them as two cylinders of water joined by a pipe at the base. You can always see the direction of spin by the fronts. All weather systems in the world move from west to east. Notice that the wind direction is not along the isobars (line of constant pressure akin to contours). The wind flows into lows and out of highs.
Warm Front- mass of warm air rising up and over cold.
Cold Front- mass of cold air pushing under the warm air.
1:25000- OS Explorer- Detailed and open access areas marked.
1:50000- OS Landranger- Good for planning, hill forms easier to see and cover a large area.
1:40000- Harvey Maps- designed for walkers and cyclists.
The Harvey maps are designed specifically for the outdoor user; however, the symbols and contour intervals are from Ordnance Survey maps.
The National Grid
Before we look at what the grid reference numbers mean, it’s important to understand the wider picture of the National Grid.
Ordnance Survey divides Great Britain into 100 km by 100 km squares, each with a two-letter code. The two-letter codes can be found printed in faint-blue capitals on Ordnance Survey maps and can also be found in the map key.
The first letter, for example ‘S’, denotes 500 km by 500 km squares and this is subdivided into 25 squares that are 100 km by 100 km within it, making ‘ST’, ‘SU’, ‘SO’ and so on.
There are four main first letters: ‘S’, ‘T’, ‘N’ and ‘H’ covering Great Britain, plus an ‘O’ square covering a tiny part of North Yorkshire that is usually below tide.
A unique National Grid reference should have this two-letter descriptor followed by the grid reference numbers within that square.
National Grid reference numbers
The numbers going across the map from left to right are called eastings, and go up in value eastwards, and the numbers going up the map from bottom to top are called northings, because they go up in a northward direction.
There are two main types of grid reference:
• Four-figure grid reference, such as ‘19 45’, indicates a 1 km by 1 km square on the map; and
• Six-figure grid reference, such as ‘192 454’, indicates a 100 m by 100 m square on the map.
Sometimes you may also come across:
• Eight-figure grid reference, such as ‘1926 4548’, indicates a 10 m by 10 m square on the map; and
• Ten-figure grid reference, such as ‘19267 45487’, indicates a 1 m by 1 m square on the map
In practice, it’s the six-digit grid reference number that is most commonly used, although the more digits used gives you a more precise location. GPS devices often specify at least eight-digit grid reference numbers.
Four-figure grid references
When giving a four-figure grid reference, you should always give the eastings number first and the northings number second, where you give the x coordinate first followed by the y.
An easy way to remember this is that to get the first number, you go along the corridor (horizontal, x axis, eastings) and then up the stairs (vertical, y axis, northings).
Six-figure map references
To get the six-figure grid reference, you have to imagine that the four-figure square is further divided up into tenths.
To be sure there is no doubt or confusion about which National Grid you’re referring, when you quote the six-figure grid reference you should put the two letters of the area you are in before the numbers.
For example, you may be at grid reference ‘509 582’ in south-west Scotland. The complete grid reference you should quote would be ‘NX 509 582’ (without the letters the numeric reference would be repeated in every 100 km square).
The closer they are steeper the ground is.
1:25000 OS maps- the contour spacing is 5 or 10 metres, with every 50 metres being slightly thicker- the index line.
1:50000 OS maps- every 10 metres with the index every 50 metres.
1:40000 Harvey maps- every 15metres with a thick index contour line every 75 metres.
Be aware on very steep ground (above 27degrees/ 48%) the intermediate contour lines may start to be dropped but the index contours remain.
Slope angle or gradient- To calculate the steepness of a slope over a given distance, simply divide the height gain by the distance and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage. Slopes are not uniform, so a 30% slope may map sections that are steeper.
(300/1000) *100= 30%
300m height gain
When measuring, use the longest horizontal distance possible across an area of uniform contour spacing.
>45% possibly zigzagging on foot.
>70% is a scramble (70m in 100m). That is 7*10m contour gaps in 100m distance
Terminology- summit, ring contour, valleys (Dales), spurs, re-entrants, ridges, saddles, gullies, knolls, depressions. Other natural features such as crags, limestone pavements, shake holes, scree, boulders.
Being able to interpret map contours to determine the slope angle, aspect and shape are essential skills. Contours allow you to visualise the landscape. Landform is one thing that remains constant in the countryside- walls, buildings and paths may change but hills do not.
Take the compass. Stand perpendicular to the contour and point directly downhill in your immediate vicinity.
Note the bearing.
Then place the compass on your map.
Generally there is only one possibility
Top tip- Use a digital watch.
A good way to get better at is to time when walking over the first hour and then later in the day. You can then get used to calculating timings for different speeds. Normally you are quicker by yourself and slower the larger the group size.
When working out timings remember Naismith’s Rule when walking up hill add 1 minute for every contour line up. He also said every 3 contour lines down add a minute. However we find this inaccurate so we suggest you just stick with adding 1 minute per contour line up.
Just out of interest 360degrees is not the only compass system. There are also Grads (400), Mills which in France is 6400, in Sweden 6300 and Russia 600. The Warsaw pact countries used to read their compasses anticlockwise. One Mil subtends 1m at 1km and was and is used for artillery work.
When you might use a compass?
• Setting the map in low visibility or in a woodland
• Walking on a bearing in low visibility or darkness
• Taking a back bearing to check accuracy
• Locating on route using a spot or linear feature or transit
• Checking which path to take in featureless terrain
How might you use a compass?
Ground to map
• Point the direction of travel/ edge of compass at an object or along a transit
• Align the magnetic needle with the orienting arrow
• Reduce the number of degrees at the index mark by the amount required for magnetic variation (this is always changing check key in map for more details on variation)
• Place the compass on the map and rotate the whole baseplate until the orienting lines are parallel with the grid lines.
• Ensure the orienting arrow is pointing to Grid North (ignore the magnetic needle)
• Slide the compass up and down the grid lines until the edge of the base plate passes through the symbol of object you believe it to be.
Map to Ground
• Known starting position (point A)
• Known destination position (point B)
• Place compass on map with base plate flat against the map
• Line up base plate with points A & B with direction of travel arrow pointing towards point B
• Turn compass housing/bezel so that orienting lines on base of compass housing line up with a vertical grid line on map, ensuring that that orienting arrow is pointing to the top of the map
• Once orienting lines aligned with vertical grid line, remove compass from map and note the degrees reading at index mark
• Allow for magnetic variation – do this by adding the appropriate value* to the value at index mark. You now have a magnetic bearing.
Using the bearing
• Hold the compass in the correct position and rotate your body so that the north (red) arrow is contained within the orientation arrow of the compass housing
• Look ahead of you and draw a mental line in the direction of travel arrow of the compass
• Pick out anything that’s easily in view that you can walk towards. It could be a rock, a tree or anything distinguishable
• Walk towards that object and repeat until you reach your destination
Note: if the weather is fine and clear it may not be necessary to continually identify objects and walk towards them, for example where you have good visibility of ‘point B’. Your reason for taking a bearing could be to check that the direction you suspect to be correct is actually correct.
Dead reckoning- timing, pacing and compass combined (poor visibility)
Aiming off- in poor visibility. Deliberately aim to miss your target when aiming for a linear feature. When you hit it you already know which side of your destination you are on.
Bearing along a linear feature- rules out virtually all other linear features on the map.
Handrail- make life easy. Ideal in poor visibility or for coarse navigation legs.
Attack point- aim for a more significant feature close to your destination. This is sometimes the changeover point between coarse and fine navigation. Pacing may come into this remember not to pace for more than 500m.
It is ok to make an error we all have and all do time to time. The most important thing is getting back on track safely. Do not be afraid to go back to your last known location even if it was over an hour ago.
Prize Draw for our Ripon to Boroughbridge Canoe trip
Two weeks ago we started a prize draw giving away two free spaces for our Ripon to Boroughbridge canoe trip on the 13th of June 2015! This is our most popular canoe experience the trip starts with everybody meeting in Ripon. We then have to shuttle a few cars to Boroughbridge and then the alfresco adventure begins down the river Ure. We use canadian canoes which are spacious and perfect for this kind of trip, we also take lots of photos which are available to download from our facebook page www.facebook.com/alfrescoadventures. For more information on this trip please visit our canoe and kayak section on our website: https://www.alfrescoadventures.co.uk/activities/canoeing-kayaking
The winners of our free prize draw are: Sarah Bailes and Riverford Darlington and Dales. To redeem your free place please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mini adventures in Swaledale
We have recently met an adventurer Alastair Humphreys, after cycling around the world for over 4 years; he started to do mini adventures; adventures that everyone can do with little or no cost. We always want to find ways to get more people enjoying the great outdoors and getting away from the daily norm of life. We have been thinking very hard to try and offer some alfresco adventures for everyone to do in Swaledale. We have recently created some geocahes in Swaledale that are eductional giving you a litlle bit of local information in reward for finding the geocahes. Here are a few examples of what you can expect to find at the geocahes in Swaledale:
Welcome to the summit of Calver Hill
Calver Hill gives you views down Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, on the summit there is now is a pile of rubble and mining spoil to form a summit cairn. The fell is littered with signs of Calver Hill’s industrial past; there is a large disused quarry 500 metres north-west of the summit cairn, there are also disused tips, pits and shafts from former lead mines. Lead mining reached its heyday in the 19th century in this area and they were some of the most productive mines in Yorkshire. Calver Hill was a Bole hill a place where the lead from the mines was smelted in an open air furnace which used the prevailing wind to increase the heat. Burnt stones and a scattering of slag show the locations of these furnaces. Hope you’re enjoying the views. Grid Reference NZ012 003.
Welcome to Jabz Cave
Hope you are enjoying the views of Fremington Edge, your now in Jabz Cave.
Jabz was a man who lived in nearby Reeth village in the cottage now known as Raisbeck.
He used to come up to Fremington Edge, so I’m told, to write poetry. Raisbeck Jabez was a Reeth shopkeeper, printer, stationer, bookseller and Darlington and Stockton Times agent. What a place to write poetry! Perhaps you can write a little poem from here, we look forward to reading them!
Grid Reference SE051 997.
You now have great views of Reeth. Reeth is at the junction of Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, it’s a picturesque market town with a history stretching back to Saxon times. In Saxon times Reeth was only a settlement on the forest edge, but by the time of the Norman Conquest it had grown sufficiently in importance to be noted in the Doomsday Book following the Norman Conquest, Reeth went on to become a local centre of the Lead industry and the traditional craft of hand knitting. With its name originating from old English and meaning “the place by the stream”, Reeth has served the needs of its surrounding farming communities over many centuries. Whilst visiting Reeth we highly recommend you visit the museum and the ice cream parlour. SE018 971
There are more to be found. We will also be adding more mini alfresco adventures to our blog for everybody to enjoy- mountain bike routes, road cyclings routes, walking routes and mini adventures for kids from a very young age.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Year
Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Are you planning a challenge for 2014 check out the challenges events we have. You can do them for charity or just personal achievements. We have lots of open Yorkshire 3 peaks events this year. Fancy trying climbing and abseiling this year? Check out our calendar for dates? Hope to see y’all soon on one of our alfresco adventures. From us all from Alfresco Adventures